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3 Ways The Patriots Can Beat The Titans

The Patriots are heading back to Foxboro with sole possession of first place in the AFC East this Sunday. Not only that, but they find themselves in the #3 Seed in the AFC overall as well. New England is playing their best football of the year and they’re going to need to continue that trend going against the #1 team in the Conference, the Titans. But Tennessee has been floundering and it’s clear this isn’t the same team without Derrick Henry. Here’s 3 ways the Patriots can beat the Titans.

Make Tannehill Look Like Old Tannehill

The title there is kind of misleading because Ryan Tannehill is very much still the Ryan Tannehill we saw in Miami. The fact that he had the monster known as Derrick Henry behind him made him look better than he is. But don’t get it twisted friends, Tannehill still isn’t a good quarterback. He’s as average as they come and that’ll be proven true this weekend.

In the 3 games since Henry has been out, Tannehill has a combined stat line of 73/106, 679, 3 TD’s and 5 INT’s. The yards look good, but when you realize 35 of those completions and 323 of those yards came against the horrendous Texans, that stat line looks even worse. Oh, and Tennessee lost to Houston by the way and Tannehill threw an embarrassing 4 INT’s. Yeah, Ryan Tannehill isn’t great. When Tannehill plays a competent team with a good defense, he doesn’t play well. That’ll happen again this Sunday.

P.S. The Titans are the 4th most sacked team in the league. A fact I’m sure Matthew Judon has noticed.

Continue To Get Pressure

The New England Patriots defense is a problem for opposing offenses. I’m not even talking about the secondary either. This defense lives and breathes through it’s front 7.

Do you understand how crazy that stat is? HALF the time QB’s drop back against this defense, they’re under pressure. That’s insane. And with Henry being on IR and Adrian Peterson just getting released, the Titans have no one in the backfield who strikes fear in you. That means guys like Judon, Hightower, Guy and Barmore can pin their ears back and go after Tannehill. And when that happens, Tannehill has a hobbled AJ Brown to throw to (if he even plays), a just signed Golden Tate and a bunch of other no name guys. Expect multiples sacks this weekend.

Mac Should Attack

The Patriots have established themselves as a running team. They’ve rattled off 100+ yards in 7 straight games for a reason. They don’t go into any game looking to sneak up on teams anymore. New England plays bull ball and they’ll look to continue that Sunday. Tennessee is ranked 9th in both pass and rush defense, so it’s bit of a pick your adventure type of situation. But you’d have to think the Titans are going to make stopping the run their top priority. And that’s when Mac Jones needs to attack.

The Titans have 67 QB hits so far this season which puts them behind the Patriots at 8th in the league. So it’ll be important for the OL of the Pats to continue to play solid football. The threat of the run should help that though. The defense won’t be able to pin their ears back and rush Mac because they may let up some big runs that way. If New England can keep Mac Jones upright, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to get 200+ yards through the air.

Conclusion:

Let’s be honest, the Patriots should win this game. Ryan Tannehill is extremely average without Derrick Henry at his back and the Titans defense isn’t as good as they’ve been in the past. There’s also the added benefit of Belichick having a few extra days to prepare for a QB that he’s seen many times in the past when he played with Miami. If the Patriots can continue to play smart football, there’s no reason this game shouldn’t be well in hand by midway through the 4th.

(Featured Photo Credit www.news.yahoo.com)

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Mike Sullivan (@msully5433 on Twitter)

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